Best Cookware for Induction Cooktops
Made In Sous Chef Kit
Made In’s best selling kit has virtually every piece of basic cookware you’ll need.
- Consumer Reports Best Cookware Set of 2020
- Comes with three different kinds of frying pan: clad stainless steel, carbon steel, and nonstick coated so all of your frying needs are covered, from broiled steaks to perfect fried eggs.
- Oven/broiler safe up to 800F (500F for the nonstick pan)
- 5 ply clad stainless steel with aluminum core for durability, induction compatibility and even heat distribution
- Great customer service and warranty
- Made in USA, France and Italy with American steel
- Includes a 10” stainless clad frying pan, 10” nonstick frying pan, 12” carbon steel frying pan, 2 qt saucepan with lid, 4 qt saucepan with lid, 3.5 qt saute pan with lid, 8 qt stockpot with lid plus a can of carbon steel seasoning wax.
A solid set of cookware workhorses from the top name in cookware for over 40 years.
- 5 ply clad stainless steel with aluminum core is not only durable but has excellent heat retention and distribution. Stainless cladding ensures induction compatibility.
- All pieces are oven and broiler safe up to 600F without lids
- Made in the USA
- Limited lifetime warranty
- Includes a 10” frying pan, 1.5 qt saucepan with lid, 3 qt saute pan with lid, and 8 qt stockpot with lid.
We are not sure if you are looking for single items or full induction cookware sets. For that reason we have created custom sets which help choose single items for different price ranges.
Best induction cookware sets to buy in 2021:
- Made In Sous Chef Kit – Best value induction cookware
- All Clad D5 – Best induction cookware set
- ELO Skyline – Best budget induction cookware set
- Made In Cookware Starter Kit- essential cookware for induction
Best Value Cookware for Induction Stove
1. Made In 10 inch Frying Pan
5 layers of clad stainless and aluminum, fast and even heat retention- it’s hard to beat Made In for value unless you’re looking for a proven heirloom piece. This pan is oven safe to 800F, and is large enough for a few eggs for the whole family, or broiling 2-3 chicken breasts. You could throw this in the dishwasher, but it is easy to just wipe clean with a soft cloth and season with oil. Reviewers praised the quality for price, and a small minority were disappointed in the shipping time but ultimately loved their purchase- so be patient and you can save big!
2. Cooks Standard 10.5 inch Multi-ply Deep Saute Pan w/lid
3. Made In Stockpot, 6qt or 8 qt
Made In has two sizes of stockpot available, and again features 5 ply construction, oven safe up to 800F. Downside is that you cannot use metal utensils, but it is dishwasher safe and easy to clean. 6 qt is great if you are making smaller batches of soups or stews, but for a family of 4 the 8qt will be a more flexible size. As with most Made In products, reviewers love that their products are made in the USA, France and Italy with American steel, but disappointed that their items are sometimes on backorder.
4. Made In Saucepan, 4 qt
We may as well just call this section the “Made In” section, but truly for most basic cookware items it is hard to beat Made In for their quality and price ratio. This saucepan is 5 ply, comes with a lid, has a flared lip and comes in under $100. Also available in 2qt size if you just need a vessel for heating up a serving or two of soup.
Full Set Alternative
Made In Sous Chef Kit
This is Made In’s bestselling kit, and by buying the entire set you save 20% more than if you bought each piece individually, which makes it a smart purchase if you want multiple items anyway. This set has a 10” nonstick frying pan, a 10” stainless clad frying pan, 12” carbon steel frying pan, 2 qt saucepan with lid, 4 qt saucepan with lid, 3.5 qt saute pan with lid, 8 qt stock pot with lid and includes a can of Carbon Steel Seasoning Wax. It was even deemed Consumer Reports Best Cookware Set of 2020! The stainless cookware is 5 ply clad stainless with aluminum core and oven/broiler safe up to 800F, and even the nonstick pan is oven safe up to an impressive 500F – perfect for baked eggs. Some reviewers wished that there had been a 12” stainless pan instead of a carbon steel, but carbon steel is great for extra high temperature cooking so it depends on your cooking needs.
Best High-End Cookware for Induction Stove
1. All Clad D5 Stainless Steel Frying Pan, 10-inch
2. All Clad Tri Ply 3 qt Stainless Steel Saute Pan
3. All Clad 4512 Stainless Steel Tri-ply Stockpot with Lid
4. All Clad D5 3 qt Saucepan
Full Set Alternative
Best Budget Cookware for Induction Stove
1. T-fal G10405 Frypan, 10 inch
2. Cooks Standard Classic Saute Pan with Lid, 3.5 qt
3. Cook N Home 16 qt Stockpot with Lid
4. Lodge Cast Iron 10.5 inch Square Grill Pan
Full Set Alternative
Best Starter Cookware for Induction Stove
1. T-fal G10405 Heatmaster Nonstick Frypan, 10 inch
2. Calphalon Signature Stainless Steel, 12-inch
3. Tramontina 80120/509DS Pot with Strainer Lid, 8quart
4. Cuisinart 7193-20 Chef’s Classic 3 qt. Saucepan with Lid
Full Set Alternative
Made In Cookware’s Starter Kit
This is the ultimate minimalist cookware set, featuring a simple combination of a 10” stainless steel frying pan, a 10” blue carbon steel frying pan, a 2qt saucepan with lid, an 8 qt stockpot with lid, and even includes a can of carbon steel seasoning wax. This set truly has zero bells and whistles but includes some real workhorse items. All of the stainless steel is five-ply clad around aluminum core for durability and even heat distribution, and all items are made in USA or France. Though the two frying pans are the same size, they are a great all-purpose size for 2 people. Plus, the different materials are great for different purposes: the stainless pan is oven and broiler compatible up to 800F, and the blue carbon steel is compatible up to a whopping 1200F- perfect if you have a pizza oven or barbecue or want to broil something under high heat. Out of 2410 reviews (at the time of writing this article), only 5 reviewers gave this set less than 3 stars, and over two thousand reviews were 5 stars! The negative reviews had to do with the length of time between ordering and receiving their product, which can happen as Made In is a smaller company and can get backlogged quickly. Positive reviews rave about the quality, often comparing Made In to prestige brands like All-Clad or Viking, but for a fraction of the price.
Important information on cookware for induction stoves
Induction stoves are all the rave now. Relatively safer, faster, and more efficient, especially when compared to other stove ranges. That said, you should understand that they’re quite different from the traditional stoves you may be accustomed to. From their mechanism of operation to the type of cookware that’s required, it’s a whole new ballgame. For one, only cookware with ferromagnetic properties can be used with induction stoves.
Types of induction stoves
The past 15 years have seen induction stoves dominate our households, and to satisfy increasing demand, manufacturers have created different iterations and varieties of the product. Today, they are all condensed into 4 broad categories:
Table-top induction stoves
Stoves in this category are small-sized, lightweight cookers that have to be placed on a table or countertop. They may have single or multiple elements.
Single-element table-top stoves have only one cooking surface, and thus cannot be used when you want to prepare multiple dishes at once. Multi-element table-top induction stoves, on the other hand, have multiple surfaces for cooking.
Built-in induction cooktop units
Built similar to table-top stoves, these built-in induction stoves are better suited for home use, as they are usually installed into cut-outs in countertops, to give that sophisticated feel of a custom-built kitchen. They usually have multiple elements.
Freestanding countertop induction stoves
For most, freestanding cooktops are the best for home use. They do not require any special installation, simply place them in a corner and plug them in, and voila!
Commercial induction stoves
Stoves are not only required in homes, so this class of stoves are built, with much tougher material and assemblage, by manufacturers to be more resilient to withstand the roughness of commercial use.
Generally, there isn’t much difference in the type of cookware required for each type of induction stove, since they all, pretty much, work the same way. However, it is important that you match your cookware with the size of the induction hobs on your stove.
When you put small cookware on a much larger ring, the magnets may not sense the pot, hence, won’t work. Even if the cookware does activate the hob, it won’t work efficiently, since the mechanism relies on actual contact between the pot and the cooktop. On the other hand, placing a large pot on a much smaller ring may lead to inefficient cooking, since the induction hob will only heat the metal directly above it.
Also, if you love using woks, or other similarly shaped cookware, you may be wondering whether you can use them on induction stoves, considering the absence of cooking supports. Well, not to worry, manufacturers have built induction stoves, with concave surfaces to support woks.
Induction stove heating properties
Unlike traditional electric stoves that use the heating element in their coils to produce heat, which is then conducted to the cookware placed on them, electric induction stoves directly heat cookware by magnetic induction.
This process allows induction stoves to conduct heat much faster than conventional stoves, using energy more efficiently and saving energy costs. Induction stoves have an efficiency score of about 90%, compared to electric and gas stoves which are 65% and 55% respectively. By extension, this also greatly shortens cooking times—it reduces the time it takes to boil water by nearly half!
Another advantage of the heat conduction efficiency of induction stoves is, as less heat is wasted, your kitchen will be much cooler and conducive to stand in while cooking, compared to when you use traditional gas and electric stoves.
Also, while gas stoves can only reach temperatures of about 430°F, induction stoves can reach nearly 670°F temperatures. And although electric stoves can get much hotter – about 750°F on average, induction stoves maintain cool surfaces throughout the cooking process, minimizing the risk of burns and other kitchen accidents often associated with electric stoves.
Choosing cookware for induction stoves
Choosing the right cookware to use for an induction stove is highly important. Choosing cookware that has a ferric base that reacts properly to the induction heating method will provide a cooking method that heats evenly, efficiently and provides great temperature-controlled cooking.
Firstly, before rushing out and purchasing a collection of new cookware, test if your existing cookware is compatible with use on an induction stovetop. To check this is, simply place a magnet on the base of your current cookware, if the magnet sticks well, then your current cookware will work well. If it has a weak reaction or doesn’t stick, then sorry it does not have a magnetic material base. However, you can use a converter disk on some cookware that will allow you to use non-induction cookware with an induction cooktop. However they do not generate even heat, take a long time to heat, and can even damage the glass tops and coils of the stovetops.
How to choose cookware for an induction stove top?
Cast iron, steel, some enameled steel, stainless steel, and copper pans with an iron base or core are great options for induction-compatible stove cookware.
Avoid glass, aluminum and older styles of copper cookware, as most of these materials, will not work on an induction stovetop. However there are some cookware manufacturers which do design and produce aluminum pans with a ferric base for induction stovetops, and modern designed copper cookware is also manufactured with a magnetic base.
Many brands of induction stovetop cookware will stamp a coiled symbol or state if it is induction stove compatible.
And remember induction cookware can also be used on stovetops that are gas or electric as well.
It is important to do your research before purchasing stainless steel cookware for use on induction stovetops. Stainless steel cookware will only work on an induction stovetop if the base is a magnetic grade of stainless steel.
Although stainless has become very popular cookware because of its durability, non-corrosive nature, it is however nonmagnetic. Due to stainless steel not being great to conduct heat, more expensive stainless cookware is designed with multi-layer materials, sandwiching copper or aluminum in thin layers of stainless steel, however, these materials are also not magnetic, When purchasing stainless steel cookware for your induction stovetop, look for Stainless steel Ply Cookware which has an exterior layer of ferritic stainless steel, and make sure it has a flat bottom to react better with stovetops magnetic field. Also when using your stainless steel cookware, ensure the base of your pan is the same size or smaller than the induction stove heating coil to ensure your pan heats evenly when cooking.
Cast iron cookware is very durable, and transfers heat evenly at low settings, making it ideal to cook the food long and slowly. However, its thick and heavy base takes longer to heat up and cool down. Because of its weight, and rough exterior, cast iron can scratch or even crack the glass top of induction stoves. Although it can be used on induction stovetops, some care must be taken when using, and also be aware it takes longer to heat up, cool down and can transfer heat unevenly at high heat when cooking.
Enameled-based cast iron is not as rough on induction stoves, however, the surfaces can chip and wear off after long or rough usage.
The size of some cast iron cookware should also be noted when using. As with stainless steel, make sure your pan or pot is smaller or the same size as the ring of your induction stovetop to ensure even heating when cooking.
Aluminum cookware conducts and retains heat very well, is lightweight, affordable, and doesn’t rust. However, most aluminum cookware cannot be used on induction stovetops. With the popularity of induction stovetops in modern kitchens, some manufacturers are constructing aluminum cookware with ferric bases. But with the acidic reaction to acid foods and the link of aluminum leaching into food when used, it is becoming the least preferred cookware material.
As mentioned, most older copper cookware sets are nonmagnetic, make them unsuitable for use on induction stovetops. However modern manufacturers do construct copper cookware which is suitable for induction stovetops. Research your product before purchasing.
How to use cookware on the induction stove
Now that you have confirmed that your cookware is compatible, here are tips to note about using cookware on your induction stove.
- Induction stoves do not have any open flames or visible cooking stands, just a flat surface made of glass or ceramic. However, the cooking zones are usually clearly marked with rings.
- Depending on the manufacturer, the minimum ring size is usually between 4 and 5 inches, and the maximum is between 12 and 14. For maximum efficiency, only place pans in rings that correlate to their sizes.
- To avoid scratching the glass or ceramic surface of your stove, don’t slide it across the surface. Rather, lift it or drop it in one swift motion.
- It’s best to use only cookware with flat bases, without dents, for maximum contact with the cooktop. If you want to use woks or other similar cookware, you have to purchase a stove with a concave surface.
- Induction works by vibrating the metallic molecules of the pot to create heat. So, if you use thin or low-quality pots, they may very likely become quite noisy.
- Avoid using metallic spoons, use wooden spoons instead.
- Now, unlike gas stoves, the heat levels of induction stoves are more customizable. Depending on the brand, there might be up to 16 different temperature settings based on different variations of low, medium-low, medium, medium-high, and high heat.
- Because induction generates heat very quickly, preheating is not often necessary. However, if you want to, do not preheat for longer than 3 minutes at a time, to avoid burning your condiments and ruining your nonstick pots. And, the way to do it is to start at a low-temperature setting, slowly increasing it till the entire pot is heated.
Safety & Health Tips For Using Cookware On The Induction Stove
As we’ve already mentioned earlier, with induction stoves, you don’t have to worry about the risk of burns and other kitchen accidents associated with traditional gas and electric stoves. The cooker-tops are always cool, and only work when cookware is placed on them.
However, there are still other hazard points to watch out for. For one, magnetic currents can interfere with pacemakers. So, if you have one on, we recommend that you stand at least 2ft from the cooktop.
Also, remember to keep other magnetic items away from the cooker – cutlery, etcetera, as they may get heated and become a burn risk. Finally, it goes without saying that you have to use only power outlets with the correct rating for your stove.
Cleaning Cookware After Cooking On The Induction Stove
Because induction stoves don’t heat up, spills don’t dry up and become crusty, making it much easier to clean them up. However, you have to clean them as soon as possible so that they don’t compromise the surface of the cooker-top. Use only a soft cloth, as abrasive materials will scratch and compromise the glass.